Map Nails

Map nails.

Map Nails

A few weeks ago, while browsing Pinterest, I found the most adorable looking nails – map nails. While I loved the idea of them, I couldn’t realistically see myself putting that much time and energy into a manicure. That was until Halloween rolled around.

With the suggestion of one of my good friends, I decided to dress up as Carmen San Diego, and I thought that map nails would be the perfect addition to the costume.

Carmen San Diego.

Even though they were a bit involved, they added a little something extra to the costume and were fun to put together. Many people were interested in how I did them, and after following a few instructions on Pinterest and YouTube, I developed my own little system. Here’s what you need and how to create your own map nails.

White nail polish
Rubbing alcohol
Paper map – not glossy

1. Cut map into small pieces that will be easy to assemble on nails.
2. Paint nails with white nail polish. Apply two coats.
3. Let nail polish dry completely.
4. Dip nail in rubbing alcohol.
5. Take a piece of the map and press down firmly on the nail – the side that you want on your nail.
6. Dip the q-tip in alcohol and rub it against the map on nail.
7. Hold for about ten seconds.
8. Slowly peel the map off, and it should be transferred on your nail.
9. If it’s not there, repeat steps 4-7.
10. Use the q-tip and alcohol to remove any paper residue.
11. Paint nails with top coat.
12. Dry and enjoy your map nails!

Map nails.

If you have the time to make these nails happen, they are definitely a fun and unique way to liven up your normal manicure, especially if you’re a map lover like me.

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Comments (19)

  1. Laura

    Awesome! How long did it take you?

    1. The World Wanderer

      Maybe an hour? I’d give yourself some time. I only had three hours to get ready, so using that one hour was precious time. Nothing like last minute! 🙂

  2. @mrsoaroundworld

    Now this is exciting! I thought you had gone to a uber fancy place, never thought it was DIY!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Nope, nothing fancy about it, haha. Just me, some alcohol, and a paper map! 😉

  3. Emma

    They look great! I’ve seen people use the same technique with newspaper but never thought about using a map. Might give this a try!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Definitely try it! I have seen the newspaper too, but I love the way the map looks.

  4. Francesca


    I’m a total map geek… but not so good at the DIY stuff. I’d try it if I had an assistant 😉

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Francesca! Maybe the next time we’re together, I’ll give you a special manicure! 😉

  5. lola dimarco

    TOO CUTE! they look great & were fab with your costume! love those freckles btw 😉

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you, Lauren, for the love on my nails and freckles! xx

  6. Mary Anne

    I’ve seen this on Pinterest. Great idea for your costume and any trip coming up.

    1. The World Wanderer

      It is definitely something I’ll do again! So fun!

  7. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    So cute!! Definitely a fun spin on travel.. and it’s girly too! lol

  8. Raul (@ilivetotravel)

    Well, maybe not for me but glad you are having fun with it! 🙂

  9. Traveling Ted

    I might try to apply this for my next hiking trip 🙂

  10. Pola (@jettingaround)

    This is so fun!!! I loved the nail design when I first saw it on FB. Also, I want that hat!

  11. Ayla

    Love these Erin! Will give them a try when I have the time 🙂

  12. Ernie

    Hi Erin! This is soooo cool that if I were of the fairer sex I would definitely do this. ♪ ♫ “Happy trails, to you…”

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